Profits Soar At Sallie Mae

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RESTON, Va. - (01/20/05) -- Student loan giant SLM Corp., betterknown as Sallie Mae, said Wednesday that fourth quarter profitsmore than doubled to $650 million, or $1.40 a share, from the sameperiod in 2003. That doesn't count $118 million in pre-tax chargestaken for losses accrued by buying back the company's GSE debt aspart of the completion of the company's privatization fromgovernment sponsored enterprise. For the full year, Sallie Maereported a 21% rise in earnings to $1.9 billion, or $4.04 a share,compared to $1.5 billion, or $3.18 a share, for 2003. The companyalso reported an 18% increase in student loan originations to $18billion, more than half of the private-sector guaranteed studentloans originated in 2003. The company ended the year with more than$107 billion in assets, the vast majority of them related tostudent loans, under management. Sallie Mae has offered to acquirePennsylvania's state-run student loan agency, known as PennsylvaniaHigher Education Assistance Association, for $1 billion.

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